We found a fun way to help repel bugs while sipping something tasty — converting used wine and liquor bottles into citronella candles!
Two of my favorite past times — especially these days — are sitting outside in the evening and enjoying an adult beverage.
But even here in Southern California, the mosquitos and other insects are the worst we can remember. (I can’t imagine how bad they are in the Midwest.) We always light a citronella candle while relaxing outside. (Bonus: the smell reminds us of jet fuel. Weird, I know).
After one of our citronella candles broke (more on that in a minute), an idea came to us while we sat outside, sipping a bottle of Colby red wine. Could we make citronella candles out of used bottles? We genuinely like the Colby wine bottle’s art (pictured above) and thought it would make an attractive candle. Plus, we figured wine and bourbon bottles might make for interesting conversation starters.
It turns out that kits are made for that exact purpose!
So if you have some empty glass bottles sitting around (or soon will), here are the supplies you need to create some candles.
Important: make sure to thoroughly wash the bottles once you’ve consumed or otherwise emptied their contents. We washed ours with soap and water and let them dry overnight. Twice. The idea is to enjoy cocktails — not Molotov cocktails 😉 .
Wine Bottle Torch Kit
We used LANMU’s wine bottle torch kit.
The wick is thick – and was slightly difficult to stuff into the bottle. That said, it’s plenty long enough and shouldn’t need replacing anytime soon. I think next time we’ll go with this one from OEXEO.
The kits should include a wick with a “bottle adapter” (for lack of a better term) and extinguisher.
We bought this jug of citronella oil.
You probably have some of these already. But just in case, here’s four-pack for about $16.
We bought a cheap pair of tongs to help raise the wicks when they get short.
Fire Extinguisher in a Can
Yeah. We learned this the hard way.
Remember I mentioned our old citronella candle broke? Well, when the glass shattered, the oil spilled everywhere. And, of course, the flaming wick fell into the oil spill.
That’s when we discovered we didn’t have a functioning fire extinguisher.
A couple of wet rags and plenty of baking soda later, the fire was out.
But after cleaning up the mess, we immediately ordered two of these fire extinguishing aerosol sprays (one each for the kitchen and outside).
If you need two, order them separately. It’s cheaper than ordering the two-pack, for some reason. I can’t vouch for whether or not it works — we’ve been lucky enough to avoid fires.
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